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History of Watches Began With Navigational Instruments

by Murat Balci on June 08, 2023

Origin and History of Watches

Who and why invented the watch? For the origin of the watch, we must travel several hundred years into the past. Back to the 15th century, the beginning of the watch's history.

Explorers required time for navigation at sea. The latitude could already be computed precisely based on the stars, but the longitude required local time. If the clock was off by one minute, that represented a variety of 28 kilometers in the tropics. Thus, the watch was born out of the need for a precise navigational instrument.

The history of the watch began with the so-called quadrans, a disc from which time could be estimated using protractors. The first sufficiently accurate mechanical clocks utilized a pendulum. This clock was unsuitable for use on the water or in a pocket since it needed to hang silently.

The Origin of The Watch

Then it occurred at the start of the sixteenth century. Peter Henlein of Nuremberg, Germany, invented the first portable clock using a spring mechanism. This is the initial timepiece. People also referred to these timepieces as Nuremberg eggs because of their oval case. It was still an art to allow the mechanical watch to function precisely. With their ingenuity, Swiss mechanics Jacob Zech and Gruet revolutionized this. When the spring is tightly wound, they construct a mechanism that offers high resistance.

In 1550, the gears were made of copper. This was an improvement, as the previous parts were flawed. Copper editing is more precise, which makes the clock more accurate. As you may guess, this was an extremely costly process that required extensive needlework. Consequently, a watch was already a prestige symbol at the time.

The Next: Wristwatch

In 1675, Englishman Robert Hooke and Dutchman Christiaan Huygens took the next step in the development of the watch. They developed a framework apart from each other in which the spring ran the balancing wheel. In 1762, the accuracy of the watch was sufficient for navigational purposes as a result of diverse knowledge sharing and extensive stitching.

The wristwatch was invented towards the end of the 19th century and was mostly considered a piece of jewelry for women. The First World War had a tremendous impact on the watch's history. Soldiers began wearing wristwatches so they could read the time more rapidly in the heat of combat. Consequently, the demand for premium watches increased.

Midway through the 19th century, the first quartz watch was made. This battery-powered watch nearly spelled the end for traditional watchmakers because the quartz watch is considerably less expensive than the mechanical watch.

Future of the Watch

Obviously, the evolution of timepieces is not tranquil. There are many models and styles available for purchase. Since the development of the quartz clock, the smartwatch will represent the next major advancement in watch technology. Time will tell when these machines will get the upper hand over our wrists. Determine the features of a high-quality watch, or view all men's or women's timepieces.

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